Would you like to share a pillowcase with your customers?
Someone once stated that complicated ideas take us a long time to understand. The obvious takes us just a little longer. In the case of selling bedding in retail furniture stores and sleepshops, the obvious has taken a lot longer.
I am referring to the practice of providing our bedding customers with pillows. We ask them to lay their heads on these pillows, despite the fact that many previous prospective buyers have used them.
I've asked a number of customers how they feel about this practice. Their answers range from comments like "I've never understood how salespeople can so thoughtlessly expect us to place our heads on pillow cases that have been used for who knows how long without being changed" to "I've never used one of those pillows because I think it's disgusting to do so."
Statements like these are not unreasonable. How would any of us respond were we to find out that the pillowcases in our hotel room had not been changed? I personally would have a problem with this, even if I was convinced that the former occupant had used that pillow only once for just a few moments.
The solution to our unhygienic and disrespectful practice is both easy and inexpensive. Supply each customer with his or her own pillow and fresh disposable pillowcase and ask them to deposit it in a store container before exiting the store. I say easy and inexpensive because salesperson Andy Peterson and I have researched the matter. Manufacturers of disposable pillowcases that can be found listed in the yellow pages. These cases might even be silk screened with your logo or a sales message.
One thing is certainly predictable. The first store that affords its shoppers their own disposable pillowcase is bound to influence every other store that sells mattresses to do likewise. Can you imagine a customer arriving at a store and asking for a disposable pillow case with the words "So and So provides disposable pillow cases. Why not you?"
That's the question I leave you with in this short article: "Why not you?" Why not all of us.
Corporate trainer, educator and speaker Dr. Peter A. Marino has written extensively on sales training techniques and their furniture retailing applications. Questions on any aspect of sales education can be sent to FURNITURE WORLD at firstname.lastname@example.org.